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Outsider’s Perspective: My 2012 New Year Resolutions for Kansas City

Become a Cultural Hub

Kansas City is often listed as one of  the best cities for young adults. The low cost of living, plentiful job opportunities and the explosion of tech makes it a great place to start a career. Kansas City’s downside? “Mediocre nightlife and limited cultural offerings,” says Kiplinger.

“But we’ve got Jazz!” city natives cry. No, Kansas City had Jazz  80 years ago. It’s time for us to face the facts. I’d like to see Kansas City natives continue to embrace art, Jazz and innovation and add in cultural and ethnic celebration, too. There is a lot of hope for the city in with KC-Ks for bringing back diverse population and restaurants and bars.

Go wild with Google Fiber

We’ve got a once in a lifetime opportunity on our hands, and thank goodness the people are doing something with it! Google has chosen this city to test the market for gigabit speed internet access. If we consume the fiber and use it for innovation, then we have precedent for startups and large companies to come to us. What does that mean? It means we’ll stop bleeding young people and our brightest entrepreneurs to Des Moines, San Francisco and Chicago.

Embrace the Entrepreneurs

I want to see Kansas City chock-full of co-working spaces, start-up companies and freelancers.

Stop Being the Caboose

I just found out that for years, people have been vying for a light rail system to be installed in our city.  I would love to see a rail that extends from the airport all the way to Olathe. Millions of people throughout the year land in MCI and think, “Oh my gosh, where am I?” and have to rent a car  or somehow hail a cab to get to our city center. Wouldn’t it be great if they could just hop on a rail and be downtown?  St. Louis did it ages ago.  In Milwaukee you can take a rail from MKE => ORD in under 2 hours.

Enjoy the Outdoors

Kansas City, MO and the Greater Kansas City Metro has gorgeous parks and trails. I want to see Kansas City continue to improve and promote its park systems.  Some of my favorite parks in the area are Swope, Antioch and Tomahawk Creek.

What are your resolutions for Kansas City in 2012?

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